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Darrelle Revis: Jordy Nelson pushed off to get separation on first-half touchdown

12.01.14 at 12:29 am ET
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Darrelle Revis and Jordy Nelson went head-to-head for a sizable part of the game Sunday. (Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis and Jordy Nelson went head-to-head for a sizable part of the game Sunday. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis told reporters after Sunday’s 26-21 loss to the Packers that one of the key plays in the game — a 45-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson — developed as the result of a push-off from Nelson.

Nelson was able to gain separation from Revis and haul in the pass from Rodgers. He raced for the end zone and just made it ahead of Revis and safety Devin McCourty for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 23-14 lead just before the half.

“I felt it was a push-off,” Revis told reporters after the game. “But at the same time, I’€™m not going to use that as an excuse. He made a great play. There’€™s two great teams playing. I have a lot of respect for Jordy, Aaron Rodgers and their whole wide receiver group. He made a great play and scored at the end of the half.

“We’€™re going to take this loss on the chin and go back to the drawing board and correct what we need to correct,” he added. “But that’€™s the game within the game. Push-off, not push-off. Call, no call, you’ve got to play.”

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Poll: What hurt Patriots most in Sunday’s loss to Packers?

11.30.14 at 9:31 pm ET
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There’s no question the Patriots gave it their best effort in Sunday’s 26-21 loss to the Packers in Green Bay. They did a number of things well, including keeping the Packers out of the end zone in four red zone trips, but there were some things that went wrong and had an impact on the final result.

A major issue was the Patriots’ third-down defense. New England allowed Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense to finish 10-for-17 in the game, including 6-for-9 in the first half, when the Packers scored 23 points. The biggest third-down conversion of all came just prior to the two-minute warning on third-and-4 from the Packers‘ 43-yard line. With the Patriots trailing by five and having used all their timeouts, the game was on the line. After getting a good amount of time in the pocket, Rodgers found Randall Cobb in a tight window for seven yards. Green Bay was able to kneel out the clock following that conversion.

Before that sequence, the Patriots had their chance to take the lead as they were driving into the red zone trailing by five points, following a key fourth-and-3 conversion from midfield earlier on the drive. Once inside the red zone, on third-and-9 from the 20-yard line with 3:25 left, Tom Brady was sacked back to the 29. Stephen Gostkowski came on and missed a 47-yard field goal, which set up the Packers‘ final drive and biggest third-down conversion of the game.

Green Bay came into the game with the 30th-ranked run defense in the NFL, but the Patriots finished with just 84 yards rushing on 18 carries. LeGarrette Blount led the way with 58 yards on 10 carries, while Jonas Gray had only one carry for four yards, and he didn’t get on the field until the final seconds of the third quarter. The Patriots only had nine rushes for 36 yards at the half, and just four carries for 14 yards for Blount. It seemed for a stretch of time in the middle of the game that the Patriots went away from the running game, highlighted by just three runs on 15 plays in the third quarter.

After the Patriots scored with just over a minute left in the first half to cut the deficit to 16-14, the Packers answered quick and in a big way, as on third-and-2 from the New England 45-yard line Rodgers found Jordy Nelson, against Darrelle Revis, on a slant route across the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown that sent the Packers into the locker room with a 23-14 lead. So instead of trailing by two at the half, the Patriots found themselves down nine.

What hurt the Patriots most in Sunday's loss to the Packers?

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Tom Brady: ‘You live your life for moments like this and you come up short’

11.30.14 at 8:54 pm ET
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Tom Brady came up just short against Green Bay Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tom Brady came up just short against Green Bay Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

No one was more disappointed or frustrated by Sunday’s 26-21 loss to the Packers than Tom Brady.

Brady was outplayed on this cold afternoon by Aaron Rodgers. By Brady’s own admission, Rodgers made the big plays that he and the Patriots couldn’t, especially late, allowing the Packers to escape and putting an end to New England’s seven-game winning streak.

“When you only score 21 points against a good team like that, you have to dig deep. Twenty-one points isn’t good enough. We have another tough [team] coming up,” Brady said, referring to the team’s trip after the game from Green Bay to San Diego for next Sunday’s game in prime time.

Rodgers was 24-of-38 for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Brady was 22-of-35 for 245 yards and two touchdowns. The difference, according to Brady, was Rodgers’ ability to pick up big plays, like third-down conversions, in big situations while the Patriots couldn’t.

Brady had the Patriots first-and-10 on the Packers 20 on their final drive and appeared ready to go in for a touchdown. Then a near-miss to Rob Gronkowski was followed by his only sack of the day. Stephen Gostkowski pushed a 47-yard field goal wide right and the Patriots saw a golden opportunity go down the tubes.

“You live your life for moments like this and you come up short,” Brady said. “I like to win and I like to go out there and compete and couldn’t ask for anything more than this opportunity.”

Brady’s frustration boiled over when Rodgers connected with Randall Cobb on a 7-yard pass over the middle on third-and-4. The first down just before the two-minute warning sealed New England’s fate and sent Brady into an F-bomb tirade on the sideline.

“Yep, yep, we had our chances,” Brady said, acknowledging the tirade. “Wish we would’ve done something when we had our chances at the end. We fought hard. We hung in there. We didn’t make enough important [plays].”
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Read More: aaron rodgers, Green Bay Packers, Julian Edelman Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Bill Belichick praises Packers after loss: ‘A really good football team, they have good everything’

11.30.14 at 8:33 pm ET
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Bill Belichick had nothing but praise for Mike McCarthy and the Packers team following the game. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick had nothing but praise for Mike McCarthy and the Packers team following the game. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Normally after losses, coach Bill Belichick gives the standard “We need to be better in all areas of the game, and it starts with me” comment to open to his postgame press conference.

On Sunday after the Patriots’ hard-fought, 26-21 loss to the Packers in Green Bay, Belichick wasn’t his usual self. He was all praise for the Packers and the team they have and said barely anything negative about his team — a sign he believed the Patriots gave it everything they had.

“Credit coach [Mike] McCarthy, Aaron [Rodgers], Packers, they played a good football game,” Belichick told reporters following the game. “That’s a good football team and in the end they made a few more plays than we did tonight. I thought both teams competed hard. I’m really proud of the way our guys hung in there, fought right to the end. We just couldn’t quite make enough plays in the end to come out on top. And they did. Give them credit.”

The Patriots fought the entire game, trailing 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and then 16-7 before making it a 16-14 game with just over a minute left in the first half. The Packers then scored a back-breaking touchdown with 23 seconds left in the half to take a 23-14 lead at the break. After no scoring in the third quarter, the Patriots scored again early in the fourth quarter to make it a two-point game with 13:51 left.

Following a few huge defensive stands, the Patriots had a chance to take the lead with less than five minutes remaining, trailing 26-21, but Tom Brady was sacked on a third down inside the 20-yard line — the first time in 162 pass attempts — forcing a Stephen Gostkowski field goal attempt from 47 yards out. The usual reliable Gostkowski missed and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers picked up a first down to run out the clock.

“I thought our team competed hard for 60 minutes. Everywhere,” said Belichick. “Just came up a little bit short.”

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Read More: aaron rodgers, Bill Belichick, Green Bay Packers, Mike McCarthy

What we learned: Aaron Rodgers gets better of Tom Brady as Packers win, 26-21

11.30.14 at 7:31 pm ET
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Jordy Nelson and the Packers ran over the Patriots secondary in a 26-21 victory on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Jordy Nelson and the Packers ran over the Patriots secondary in a 26-21 victory on Sunday. (Getty Images)

In a battle between two of the best quarterbacks in the game, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got the best of Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday, as Green Bay edged visiting New England, 26-21, at Lambeau Field.

The win snaps the Patriots’ seven-game win streak.

Brady finished 22-for-35 for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 98 yards and LeGarrette Blount added 10 carries for 58 yards in the loss. On the other side of the ball, Rodgers was 24-for-38 for 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Davante Adams had six catches for 121 yards, while Eddie Lacy had 21 carries for 98 yards in the win.

Here’s what we learned about the Patriots on Sunday:

Brady was uneven in his first head-to-head showdown with Rodgers.

The Patriots quarterback wasn’t picked on the afternoon, and was able to put together two impressive first half scoring drives, with one ending with a 6-yard touchdown run from Brandon Bolden and a second coming on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell. Brady was under pressure for most of the afternoon, and was sacked for the first time all day near the end of the game — it was the first sack he took since the first half of the Nov. 2 win over the Broncos. Read the rest of this entry »

Halftime analysis: Packers 23, Patriots 14

11.30.14 at 5:58 pm ET
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Tom Brady hands off to LeGarrette Blount in the first half. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady hands off to LeGarrette Blount in the first half. (Getty Images)

Two quarters are in the books, and Green Bay holds a 23-14 lead on the Patriots at Lambeau Field.

For the Patriots, Tom Brady was 12-for-16 for 148 yards and a touchdown, and Rob Gronkowski has three catches for 45 yards. On the other side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers finished the first half 14-for-23 for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Davante Adams has three catches for 90 yards and kicker Mason Crosby booted three field goals.

Here are a few quick notes:

— The Patriots were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time since a Week 6 win against the Bills in Buffalo, but responded nicely at the start of the second quarter. New England put together its best drive of the first half when Brady hit Gronkowski on a 29-yard pickup and Michael Hoomananwanui for 23 yards. That set up a 6-yard touchdown run from Brandon Bolden. (When it came to the running back depth chart, Bolden and Shane Vereen got the start, while LeGarrette Blount followed them up. Jonas Gray did not take a snap.)

— New England’s final drive of the half was also pretty impressive, as Vereen hauled in a 26-yard pass play on a wheel route to get the Patriots into position nicely. Gronkowski made a terrific catch on a third down play to keep the chains moving deep in Green Bay territory, picking up 11 yards while shedding off multiple tacklers on the way to a first down. New England punched it in a few plays later when Brady hit Brandon LaFell on a 2-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 16-14 with just over a minute left in the first half.

— The biggest breakdown of the first half came at the end of the second quarter when Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson on a crossing pattern with less than a minute to go —  a 45-yarder on that took a two-point edge (16-14) and made it nine (23-14) just before the half.

— For Green Bay, Eddie Lacy was big right out of the gate, with a reception on the first play from scrimmage (12 yards) and runs on the next three plays, including a 24-yarder that got the Packers into New England territory. (On a 3rd and long situation, Brandon Browner picked up a defensive holding call that allowed the Packers to keep a drive alive. Browner added a second penalty for illegal use of hands later in the first quarter.) The Green Bay offense stalled out in Patriots’ territory, and had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Crosby to make it 3-0 midway through the first quarter. The same thing happened on the Packers‘ second drive of the game, as Crosby posted a 35-yard field goal to make it 6-0 with 3:32 left in the first quarter.

— The Patriots did some defensive shuffling, but at the start of the game, Browner was lined up opposite Nelson, while Darrelle Revis was going against Randall Cobb and Logan Ryan was opposite Davonte Adams.

— Ryan was beaten by a nice pitch-and-catch between Rodgers and Adams midway through the first quarter, a pass play that went for 33 yards on a double move up the left sideline. Revis and Browner were able to lock up their assignments, and as a result, Rodgers spent much of the afternoon looking for the Adams/Ryan matchup. (Adams had a catch in the end zone on Green Bay’s second drive, but was ruled out of bounds on the play.) Adams burned Ryan badly with a double move late in the first that went for 45 yards, and ended up setting the stage for the Packers’ first touchdown of the day, a 32-yard pass to tight end Richard Rodgers to make it 13-0 with eight seconds left in the first quarter.

— It looked like Ryan was replaced by Kyle Arrington at the start of the second quarter, and then moved to a scheme that had Revis on Nelson, Arrington on Cobb, and Browner on Adams. Following that move, the Patriots were able to keep the Packers out of the end zone again — Green Bay settled for its third field goal of the game, a 33-yarder from Crosby to make it 16-7 with 6:36 left in the first half.

— Rodgers had his hand stepped on by Jamie Collins midway through the first quarter on a scramble, and was seen bleeding on the sideline. He was handing off with his left hand at times throughout the first half, but other than that, he didn’t look affected by what happened.

— It appeared that early on — without Cameron Fleming in the lineup — the Patriots went with veteran Marcus Cannon as the extra offensive lineman in running situations. It didn’t do anything for New England on its first series, as it quickly punted. (There were no issues with backup long snapper Rob Ninkovich.) Cannon struggled as the half went on, and took a bad false start penalty at the end of the half and was benched.

— No New England injuries were reported over the course of the half.

— The Packers did not punt in the first half.

Chandler Jones, long snapper Danny Aiken inactive vs. Packers; Aaron Dobson, Alfonzo Dennard both active

11.30.14 at 3:05 pm ET
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The following Patriots players are listed as inactive for Sunday’s game with the Packers in Green Bay: defensive end Chandler Jones, long snapper Danny Aiken, cornerback Malcolm Butler, running back James White, linebacker Chris White and offensive linemen Jordan Devey and Cameron Fleming.

The big news is Aiken (concussion) will miss the game. It is somewhat surprising considering the Patriots released long snapper Charley Hughlett on Friday from the practice squad. Rob Ninkovich will serve as long snapper in his place. It is not much of a surprise to see Jones inactive, as this was his first week of practicing since suffering a hip injury in Week 7 against the Jets.

Aaron Dobson is active for the first time since Week 6 against Buffalo, and so is cornerback Alfonzo Dennard for a second straight week, following a string of three straight healthy inactive games. Defensive lineman Dominique Easley returns after missing last week’s game with a knee injury.

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